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Bentley Jones
Bentley Jones
British artist, song-writer, producer, composer and remixer, Bentley Jones.
Gender

Male

Job

Producer, vocalist, singer-songwriter, composer, remixer, arranger, engineer, dancer

Lee Brotherton, better known by his artist alias Bentley Jones (ベントレー・ジョーンズ Bentorējōnzu?), is an English recording artist who signed his debut album - TRANS//LATION to EMI Music Japan in 2008.[1][2] He has achieved countless club chart toppers under his remix pseudonym PHUNKST★R and has produced for many artists including but not limited to Rihanna, Katy Perry, will.i.am, Britney Spears, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, Taio Cruz, Calvin Harris, Cheryl Cole, Bruno Mars, Flo-Rida, Whitney Houston and Carly Rae Japsen.[3][4] His first notable release was his song "Dreams of an Absolution" which was featured in the video-game Sonic the Hedgehog and released on CD in Japan.[5][6] He also made what is known by fans as the "legendary" remix of "Open Your Heart", the main theme of Sonic Adventure [7], and has recorded covers of "His World", "They Call Me Sonic" and "Seven Rings in Hand". In 2009, he released his debut single - "素直になれたら ~FINAL NIGHT~" and Japanese-language album - TRANS//LATION, the prior reaching number 5 on the Recochoku international chart. Jones has been known to perform in English, French[8] and Japanese.

Some of his compositions and writing work are credited to his production house and UK label, the Remix Factory.[9]

Music Career

OC ReMixer: LeeBro and Involvement with Sonic Team

While growing up, Brotherton began experimenting with music production on OverClocked Remix using the username LeeBro.[10] Years later, Brotherton sent out an instrumental showreel of his latest works that ended up with Jun Senoue.[11] Upon receiving the showreel, Senoue contacted Brotherton, asking if he would like to help with a game project. Brotherton was skeptical at first, as he believed that he was being pranked, but agreed to help.[12][13] The game project turned out to be Shadow the Hedgehog. For the game, Brotherton produced and remixed tracks including "E.G.G.M.A.N.", entitling the remix "E.G.G.M.A.N. Doc. Robeatnix Mix", and remixes of Sonic Adventure 2's "GUN Mobile" for the bosses Heavy Dog and Blue Falcon.[14]

Lee Brotherton

Often some of Jones’ compositions and writing work is credited to his birth name (Lee Brotherton)[15] or his production house (the Remix Factory). As Lee Brotherton, he co-wrote and performed "Dreams of an Absolution" from the video-game Sonic the Hedgehog which featured music from fellow J-pop artists Dreams Come True. The track featured on the original soundtrack as well as a compilation - Several Wills - consisting of the game's featured tracks from other artists including Zebrahead and long-time collaborators Crush 40.[16] Brotherton was also involved in the arrangement and engineering of the Crush 40 version of "His World".[17] For the soundtrack of Sonic Rivals, Brotherton composed an instrumental track entitled "Quick Trip to Paradise", which was used as the music for the "Forest Falls Zone".[18][19][20]

The Birth of Bentley Jones

In November 2007, Brotherton began segregating himself from the Remix Factory to concentrate on his own work as an artist under the pseudonym Bentley Jones. His music as "BJ" quickly became popular amongst fans of his earlier work, leading to Jones’ remix of the song "Open Your Heart" from the video-game Sonic Adventure, which was featured on the compilation album True Blue: The Best of Sonic the Hedgehog early in 2008.[21]

Summer of Sonic 2008

In August, Jones was a special guest at the first Summer of Sonic event in London UK to celebrate his work composing for the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.[22] Jones arranged and performed the main theme of the convention, titling the theme "His World ~Blue World Prelude~" – an adaptation of the song "His World", which he also worked on for the video-game Sonic the Hedgehog. A studio version of the song was subsequently made available for free download from the Summer of Sonic website, with the song being a free gift for the fans.[23] He also performed a new version of "Dreams of an Absolution" called the "Ballad Version" with fellow composer Richard Jacques, and another new version of the song "His World" called "His World ~Reprise~". To end the show, Jones and Jacques joined TJ Davis for the song "Dreams Dreams" from the game NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams.

Also in August 2008, Jones collaborated with French duo Cassandre for remixes of the track "Liberté" broadening his linguistic spectrum to French as well as English and Japanese.[24][25][26]

Digression into J-Pop

Early in 2008, Jones was touring the UK testing tracks for a tentative English album under the advisement of his UK management. However, by the summer, Jones parted ways with his management due to frustration over a slow pace of progression and his English album was put on hold. Using his knowledge of managing the Remix Factory, he took care of his own artist management and soon landed himself his first major-label deal.[27][28]

Jones had stated in several interviews that he was a fan of Japanese musicians and artists – a curiosity that had come to fruition by working with Japanese video-game composers and artists.[29] One of the artists he claims to be deeply inspired by is Utada Hikaru, an aspiration that was brought to reality when he was offered a deal by the same record label – EMI Music Japan – in November 2008.

Jones is also known for being a fan of Japanese star Ayumi Hamasaki. Not only did he cover her song "Depend on you" entirely in Japanese, but he rewrote it into English as a new track called "Depend on me". These two covers resulted in lots of attention from J-pop and Ayumi Hamasaki fans, the large majority of which was very positive.[30] Further on, the English version would be retitled "Depend on you ~Depend on me~" and feature on Jones' debut Japanese album. In May 2008, Jones guest vocaled and remixed Hamasaki's previously #1-single "Step You" as a special promotion for Avex Trax in Japan.

TRANS//LATION

In January 2009, Jones announced the forthcoming release of the Japanese digital single "素直になれたら ~FINAL NIGHT~" - an English reworking of the Japanese original "素直になれたら" ("Sunao ni Naretara") originally recorded by Juju featuring Spontania/ Jeff Miyahara - the original producer and one of the writers of "Sunao ni Naretara" - liked Jones' version so much that not only did he give permission for the English rewrite, but offered to collaborate with Jones for his second album.

On 4 March 2009 the song "素直になれたら ~FINAL NIGHT~" was released as a mobile digital single - the first from the album TRANS//LATION.[31] It debuted on the Recochoku international daily chart at #7 before quickly rising to #5 despite very little promotion. Following its success, a remix of the track was announced to appear on the forthcoming "Love House" compilation album. The single would later be re-released as a remix single containing a remix by Phunkstar which would also be promoted in the UK, marking the first cross-over promotion of TRANS//LATION.[32]

TRANS//LATION was released on 25 March 2009.[33] The album is a collection of Japanese songs reworked into Jones' signature electro-pop style and, in places, rewritten into English. All of the English lyrics, and the production and arrangement of the album was done by Jones. As well as endorsement from Jeff Miyahara, J-pop megastar Ayumi Hamasaki reviewed one of Jones' tracks from the album and offered her personal approval for an English rewrite of one of her songs.

Jones is unique as he is the first ever British artist to have a major label Japanese album release.[34]

On 27 March 2009, the song "DEPARTURES" was released as a mobile ringtone.[35]

Following TRANS//LATION's release, in February 2009, it was announced that Jones was to feature on the international soundtrack for the video-game Sonic and the Black Knight. It was later revealed that Jones had recorded the track "Seven Rings in Hand ~Fairytales in Trance~" and was released on the soundtrack CD Face to Faith in Japan on 8 April.[36]

Phunkstar's Identity Revealed

On 12 May 2009, Jones announced that he was producing a brand new remix for Whitney Houston to help promote her forthcoming single "I Don't Know My Own Strength".[37] He also revealed that he was behind the Phunkstar moniker and that, as Phunkstar, has previously remixed Beyoncé and Britney Spears. The Phunkstar 2009 remix of "I'm Every Woman" was promoted throughout Europe by UK label DMC.[38]

Gaia Online's "PROMAGEDDON"

On 16 May 2009, Jones announced that he was attending the online event "PROMAGEDDON" hosted by the Gaia Online social network.[39][40][41] Three half-completed demos were selected by Gaia from an album sampler that Jones was in the process of putting together, along with tracks from fellow collaborator and J-pop producer Jeff Miyahara, to be the soundtrack of the event. Despite the tracks' premature condition, the songs proved to be incredibly popular and were streamed 1,152,835 times in less than a week making Bentley's music the most popular of the entire event.[42] Due to demand, Bentley made the demos available to listen to through his YouTube channel in an album called the 3-Track Sampler and said that thanks to his fans' reactions, he was more confident with his new style of music.[43] He also stated that he was looking for a new label to release a particular project implying that he had parted ways with EMI Music Japan.

Jones also revealed that as well as currently working with writer and producer Jeff Miyahara, he is collaborating with BAFTA award-winning composer Jeremy Soule[44] and J-pop writer and producer Army Slick who has worked with the likes of ZoA and ZEEBRA.[45]

Summer of Sonic 2009

Jones also reappeared at Summer of Sonic 2009 as the headlining musical guest, performing a selection of tracks from his Japanese album, songs from the 3-Track Sampler, as well as those featured in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. Included in the first set was a parody of the song "They Call Me Sonic", the original of which has become notorious amongst the fanbase. A studio version of Jones' parody was later made available for free download from several Sonic community websites.[46][47] He also performed a surprise acoustic set with Nick Jennison from UK band Under the Gun which included rearranged renditions of his single "Sunao ni Naretara ~FINAL NIGHT~", "Dreams of an Absolution", an exclusive cover of "Escape from the City" from Sonic Adventure 2, and "GLAMOROUS SKY". TRANS//LATION was available for sale and later in the day, Jones did a signing session for fans.

So Much More...

On 4 December 2009, Jones uploaded a video to YouTube officially announcing an EP, So Much More....[48] The EP So Much More... features the theme for Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing called "So Much More...". Different remixes of the song were also made and featured on the EP, including remixes by Phunkstar and Fantazia Projekt, as well as an instrumental. There is also a different version of the song called the "Ballad Version" which also has an official music video to follow. Jones also includes a song titled "U Won't 4get ME" as a theme for himself. Taken from his 3-Track Sampler from Gaia Online's PROMAGEDDON is the full version of the song "Swing Baby!", and a new song called "Alpha Dog" is featured on the EP as well.[49]

Jones wished to get his fans more involved with the production of So Much More...[50], so he gave his fans the chance to vote for the official cover artwork of the EP.[51] Cover #4 received the most votes and was therefore made the official artwork of the So Much More... EP. Jones also held a So Much More... video competition where participants get the chance to star in the official music video for the song "So Much More...".[52] Unfortunately, production of the music video was cancelled due to many participants wanting to include game characters in their entries.[53] Winners of the competition were announced and credited by Bentley himself.[54]

Trivia

External Links

References

  1. http://bentleyjones.com/music/discography/translation/
  2. http://www.emimusic.jp/artist/bentley/
  3. https://soundcloud.com/phunkstaruk
  4. http://bentleyjones.com/bentley-bio/
  5. http://www.amazon.com/SONIC-HEDGEHOG-ORIGINAL-SOUND-TRACK/dp/B00ALZAQQC/ref=pd_sim_m_a_2
  6. http://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Hedgehog-Vocal-Traxx-Several/dp/B000KF0TRO/ref=pd_sim_m_3
  7. http://www.amazon.com/True-Blue-Best-Sonic-Hedgehog/dp/B000WZO662/ref=pd_sim_m_1
  8. http://www.last.fm/music/Cassandre/Libert%C3%A9+-+Remixes+-
  9. http://remix-factory.co.uk/
  10. http://ocremix.org/artist/4354/leebro
  11. http://www.radiosega.net/news/features/2013/09/radiosega-interviews-bentley-jones/
  12. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0CUSgUrLqQ
  13. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSZYNZPbj5E
  14. http://www.last.fm/music/Lee+Brotherton+%28Remix+Factory%29
  15. http://vgmdb.net/artist/1905
  16. http://www.last.fm/music/Bentley+Jones
  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrapeBZNZiY
  18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prLDzdw8eio
  19. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-pda-cmakM
  20. http://bentleyjones.com/music/others/features-and-soundtracks/
  21. http://vgmdb.net/album/4981
  22. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8te0vq7BVo
  23. http://bentleyjones.com/2008/08/11/free-download-his-world-blue-world-prelude/
  24. http://bentleyjones.com/2008/08/02/new-track-cassandre-feat-bentley-jones-liberte/
  25. http://bentleyjones.com/2008/08/29/out-now-cassandre-feat-bentley-jones-liberte/
  26. http://www.last.fm/music/Cassandre/Libert%C3%A9+-+Remixes+-
  27. http://bentleyjones.com/music/discography/translation/
  28. http://www.sonicstadium.org/music/translation
  29. http://www.mimu-net.net/en/article_view.php?articleid=64
  30. http://www.ahsforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=73735
  31. http://pc.dwango.jp/index.php/m/portal/a/artist/artist_id/36851
  32. http://www.bentleyjones.com/press_releases/2009-06-30_FINAL_NIGHT_club_promo.htm
  33. http://www.emimusic.jp/artist/bentley/
  34. http://www.propellerheads.se/substance/patch-charts/index.cfm?fuseaction=get_chart&ID=6
  35. http://bentleyjones.com/music/departures/
  36. http://www.cdjapan.co.jp/detailview.html?KEY=WWCE-31197
  37. http://bentleyjones.com/2009/07/09/remixes-whitney-houston-im-every-woman/
  38. http://bentleyjones.com/2009/05/12/remix-whitney-houston-gets-bentley-jones-phunkstar-treatment/
  39. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2009/05/prweb2449764.htm
  40. http://www.gamertell.com/gaming/comment/partake-in-gaia-onlines-promageddon-2009-the-mother-of-all-proms/
  41. http://bentleyjones.com/2009/05/16/bentley-to-be-special-guest-at-gaia-onlines-promageddon/
  42. http://www.bentleyjones.com/press_releases/2009-06-08_Promageddon_finish.htm
  43. http://bentleyjones.com/2009/06/04/promageddon-tracks-available-now/
  44. http://bentleyjones.com/2009/05/06/blog-jeremy-soule-%E2%99%A5-bentley-jones/
  45. http://bentleyjones.com/2009/07/22/news-bentley-attracts-boa-and-zeebra-talent-for-new-album/
  46. http://www.sonicstadium.org/updates/download-summer-of-sonic-09s-they-call-me-sonic-mix
  47. http://sonicwrecks.com/dep/music/sos09remix.php
  48. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faorrs29Pc8
  49. http://bentleyjones.com/2009/12/23/so-much-more-cover-voting-closed-track-list-previews-and-more/
  50. http://bentleyjones.com/2009/12/01/remix-factory-i-need-you-now/
  51. http://bentleyjones.com/2009/12/16/so-much-more-vote-for-the-cover/
  52. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faorrs29Pc8
  53. http://bentleyjones.com/2010/02/12/smm-video-competition-important-update/
  54. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQU_PbZOSEo
  55. http://www.sonicstadium.org/articles/115/
  56. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bentley-Jones/92616682156

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